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This query got here to us from a number of fellow Bangor Each day Information reporters and editors, who questioned aloud within the newsroom at some point why Brewer has such a seemingly odd sports activities mascot.
Why is Brewer Excessive Faculty’s sports activities mascot the Witches?
Morse Excessive Faculty in Tub has their Shipbuilders, appropriately. Edward Little in Auburn has their Pink Eddies, named for his or her college’s founder. Penobscot Valley Excessive Faculty has the Howlers, for the reason that college is in Howland.
However out of all the highschool sports activities mascots throughout the state, few are as unusually named as Brewer’s Witches. Not that it’s not a cool mascot — it’s really very cool and completely distinctive, like Cornjerkers in Hoopeston, Indiana, or of the Combating Conchs in Key West, Florida. There’s virtually nothing else prefer it on the market, that’s for certain.
The query stays, nonetheless: why did Brewer select the Witches as its mascot?
There’s just one different college within the nation with Witches as its mascot, and it’s Salem, Massachusetts, which is very acceptable, given its historical past with the Salem witch trials. Brewer, nonetheless, has no witchcraft in its historical past that we all know of. Bucksport does, with the legend of Jonathan Buck’s grave and the witch who supposedly cursed him. However Bucksport Excessive Faculty is the Golden Bucks, not the Witches (or the Witchfeet). What provides?
Seems, regardless of many theories and half-truths, nobody is aware of precisely why Brewer turned the Witches. Brewer’s athletic director, David Utterback, doesn’t know precisely, and neither did any of his more moderen predecessors.
Utterback in contrast it with the unanswered questions surrounding the open-ended finale of the long-lasting TV sequence “The Sopranos.”
“Was Tony ‘whacked’? Was Tony simply saying ‘the way you doin’ to an outdated acquaintance? [They] left everybody speculating because the display screen immediately cuts to black, even in spite of everything of those years for the reason that finale aired,” he stated. “So too is the thriller across the Witch.”
One idea, unearthed by Maine author Dan Stewart, holds that, within the Twenties and early Thirties, Brewer’s soccer workforce was traditionally dangerous, with one of many worst data within the state. In 1931, nonetheless, the workforce’s fortunes modified dramatically for the higher, with its across-the-river rivals the Bangor Rams experiencing a string of dangerous luck, and Brewer successful a decisive victory over the Rams that fall.
The earliest recognized reference to the Brewer Witches could be present in a February 1932 Bangor Each day Information article — not with out racist references to the then-Previous City Indians — about an upcoming slate of basketball video games between Bangor and Brewer. The article references each the “curse” and the “jinx” on Brewer, and wonders if it would lastly be lifted, after the workforce’s win in opposition to Bangor the earlier fall. May witchcraft have had one thing to do with it?
There’s additionally the marginally extra pedestrian idea that, since Brewer’s colours have since at the very least the flip of the twentieth century been orange and black — conventional Halloween colours — “witches” appeared like an acceptable nickname. Previous to the Twenties, most highschool sports activities groups didn’t have mascots in any respect, with groups often being referred to by their colours. Soccer season takes place within the fall as nicely, so a Halloween-themed mascot wasn’t completely out of left discipline.
Regardless, in some unspecified time in the future round 1932, Brewer immediately turned the Witches. Whether or not it’s due to a supposed curse or jinx being lifted by seemingly supernatural means, or it’s simply due to the spooky colours, we’ll probably by no means really know.
“That does appear to be a part of the attract and greatness of the Witch — the cloud of thriller,” stated athletic director Utterback. “Nearly like witchcraft.”